Thursday, November 3, 2011

Postal Proselytizing

I think it's time for Christians around the world to take the phrase "going postal" and turn into something very positive and God-glorifying. Christians can do this by engaging in what I like to call "Postal Proselytizing."

Postal Proselytizing is an excellent way for those who may not be able to hit the streets, due to physical limitations or other circumstances, to share the Law and the Gospel with lost people in their community and around the world.

Too cold or rainy to hit the streets? Having a hard time finding good fishing spots in your neighborhood? Always wanted to share the Law and the Gospel with that particularly unfriendly or cranky neighbor, but you just haven't been able to work up the courage to do it? Postal Proselytizing may be the answer. It's easy. It's fun. It's as inexpensive as you want it to be. And it just may have your neighborhood talking for some time to come.

Just follow these simple steps:

1) Go to http://www.whitepages.com/

2) Click on Reverse Lookup.

3) Enter your phone number (if it is listed), or any residential number from the phone book, into the "phone number" field; and click "search."

4) A box will appear that will include the name and address associated with the listing. Beneath the listing, you will see several buttons. One reads: "Find Neighbors."

5) Click the "Find Neighbor" button. You will be redirected to a page that will tell you how many listed numbers are in close proximity to your entry.

6) Click the "View The First Ten Results" link and in an instant you will have the name, addresses, and phone numbers for every phone book listing in close proximity to your entry.

7) Copy and paste each address into either a Word document or a label program.

8) Create a nondescript e-mail account through gmail or one of the many free e-mail services. I will explain why, shortly.

9) Buy some Million Dollar Bill gospel tracts.

Now that you've easily and legally collected some addresses, it's time to write your letter. Allow me to help with that, too. :-)

The tone of your letter is extremely important. After all, you want the people who receive the letter to read it. To the extent it can be communicated in a letter, you want to try to convey genuine care and concern for the recipient. Be thoughtful. Be kind. Let the recipient know how you obtained their address to put their mind at ease.

Here's the letter I use. Please feel free to use some or all of this letter, if you like.


Dear Neighbor,

Thank you for not throwing away the envelope in which this letter was contained, before opening it. I’m sure it struck you as odd to receive a letter addressed to "My Neighbor." I obtained and selected your address randomly through the White Pages.

I assure you that this is not a solicitation or a scam of any kind. I do not want to sell you anything or sign you up for anything.

My hope is that you will continue to read the letter. My hope is that, in the end, you will see this letter as so much more than "junk mail." I am writing to you because I care about you--one member of the community to another.

By now, I am sure you've come to realize that the Million Dollar Bill you are holding in your hand is not legal tender. But what if I had sent you a million dollars--real, cold, hard cash? What would you do with the money? Buy a house? Buy a car? Take a trip around the world? Invest or save it? Put yourself or your kids through college? Give to charity? Would you do all of the above, or something different?

Now I would like you to consider this. What if I told you that you could keep the million dollars if you donated one of your eyes to science? Your eye would be replaced with a beautifully matching prosthetic eye; but, of course, you wouldn't be able to see out of it. Would you sell me your eye for a million dollars? Would you sell me both of your eyes for, say, five million dollars?

If you are a reasonable person, you would probably say no. Why? Well, because you would likely agree that your eyes are precious to you. You would rather go through life poor and able to see than to go through life rich, but blind.

With the above in mind, I would like share with you something very fascinating that someone once said. "If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell."

Jesus said those words (Matthew 5:29-30). Jesus also said, "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul" (Matthew 16:26)?

Thank you so very much for taking the time to read this. I have but one more very important request. Please read the back of the Million Dollar Bill. The text asks and answers the "million dollar question."

It is not by mere coincidence that your received and read this letter, today. While you do not know me, and the likelihood is that we will never meet; please know that I am praying for you and I care about you. My motive for sending you this letter is simply this. "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Galatians 5:14).

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at: [enter your nondescript email address here]

With care and respect,

Your Neighbor
More Tips:

1) The reason for obtaining a nondescript e-mail address is so that you can make yourself available to any recipient for questions or further discussion, without identifying yourself. Remember, Jesus said that if people hate the followers of Jesus Christ it is because they hated Him first. While the Christian should always be willing to lay down his or her life for the furtherance of the gospel, the Christian should also be a good steward of the life God has given them. So, use a reasonable amount of care and caution when identifying yourself to strangers.

2) Address the envelope "To My Neighbor." Even though White Pages provides the name of the resident along with the phone number and address, there is no way to be certain if the name given represents the people presently living at the residence. If you put the wrong name on the envelope, the recipient may not open it.

3) Do not put a return address on the envelope. Again: the thought, care, and goodwill you put into the letter may not be shared by the recipient. Not everyone who receives your letter will appreciate it. You do not want to have an angry, God-hater knocking on your door one night. :-)

So, there you have it--Postal Proselytizing. Now, go get some million dollar bills, envelopes, and stamps. Collect some addresses, write your letter, and make sure to put a million dollar bill in every envelope.

And pray. Pray for each and every person to whom you send a letter. Pray that the Lord will use something that may seem silly to the world (and, sadly, to some in the Church) to bring Himself glory, as He uses your proclamation of the Law and the Gospel to draw sinners to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.